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The internet is full of information on plastic surgery and many other beauty treatments. But how reliable is it? Can you trust what you read and would you go under the knife based on information that you have ‘Goggled’? Everyone’s knows that just because it is found and indexed highly on a web search does not necessarily make it gospel.

Thus the role of reliable information on a topic is internet gold if you can find. When it comes to plastic surgery, nothing would be more reliable than information provided by a board-certified plastic surgeon. And what if you can ask a question and get 10 or 15 plastic surgeons to answer that very question. That could be the equivalent of a mini-educational seminar.

This is the role that the website, Real Self, plays for plastic surgery. Started in 2006, it has over 3 million visitors each month and several thousand doctors of different educational backgrounds poised to answer patient questions from all over the world. The answers are based on each doctor’s own clinical experience and no two answers may be the same.

The decision to get a breast augmentation, tummy tuck or rhinoplasty for example are big ones for each person considering them. They require a big commitment of time and money and everyone is counseled to do their research. The opportunity to talk to get feedback from multiple plastic surgeons and to other people who have had the procedure or are considering it makes the whole experience more transparent.

Although they may be as many as 5,000 physicians who are enrolled on Real self to help answer patient questions, the 80:20 rule applies just like it does in many situations in life. The vast majority of information is provided by a minority of physician participants. Dr. Barry Eppley, Indianapolis board-certified plastic surgeon, was recently honored as a Real Self top 100 doctor by the company. Having answered over 2,500 patient questions, this places Dr. Eppley in the top 100 of all Real Self physicians. Answers have been given to a diverse number of primary and secondary plastic surgery problems.

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